July 2012
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July 2012 posts

Testing, 1-2-3

Men, what’s your excuse for not going to the doctor?

Everyone has them and they’re about as unique as our fingerprints. But put your finger on this: studies from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that American men have worse health than American women and they are less likely to go to the doctor. Help change these stats, stat!

We’ve all heard this advice: eat more veggies, watch your weight, exercise more—the list goes on. But going to the doctor is more than just a chance to be reminded of this advice. It’s a time to get your body tuned just like you would your car. But what screening tests should you have?

Check out this easy chart to find out:

Be a Brain Surgeon for a Day!

Dr. Greg Foltz, a brain surgeon from the Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle is inviting 25 people (including students) to join him on Friday, Aug. 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to become a “Brain Surgeon for a Day.” (Enter by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, August 9, 2012.)

Randomly selected individuals will spend time learning about the brain and its key parts. These individuals will see how Swedish surgeons are using the latest research to find new treatments for brain cancer. As part of the event, these individuals will:

  • Walk away with their own pair of Swedish medical “scrubs”, just like a doctor
  • Participate in a behind the scenes tour and gain special access to places within the hospital most visitors do not get to see
  • Rub elbows in the confides of the “green room” and meet some of the smartest physicians of the Pacific Northwest region
  • Learn about brain tumors and why some are so deadly

At the conclusion of the tour, Dr. Foltz and other neuroscientists will host a lunch session with participants about his every day battle against brain cancer, a disease he hopes will be cured one day soon.

“Brain Surgeon for a Day” Schedule of Events:

  • 11:00 AM: Scrub Up with your new pair of medical scrubs
  • 11:05 AM: Meet and Greet with Dr. Greg Foltz of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Swedish
  • 11:15 AM: Take part in an interactive session with brain tissue samples at the Seattle Science Foundation
  • 11:50 AM: Guided behind-the-scenes tour of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center research lab, clinic and research partners
  • 12:05 PM: Visit a behind-the-scenes location
  • 12:20 PM: Lunch and Q&A session with Dr. Foltz and other special guests
  • 1:00 PM Conclusion

Other possible events during the two-hour event:

  • See the first commercial Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Core Facility in the U.S. and how it is being used for brain cancer.
  • Explore the genome sequencing machines that help decode DNA in tumors.
  • Meet ....

Fixing Chest Wall Deformities: A Minimally Invasive Option

Pectus excavatum often referred to as either "sunken" or "funnel" chest is the most common congenital chest wall deformity affecting up to one in a thousand children. It results from excessive growth of the cartilage between the ribs and the breast bone (sternum) leading to a sunken (concave) appearance of the chest.

(Image source)

Although present at birth, this usually becomes much more obvious after a child undergoes a growth spurt in their early teens. Pectus excavatum can range from mild to quite severe with the moderate to severe cases involving compression of the heart and lungs. It may not cause any symptoms, however, children with pectus excavatum often report exercise intolerance (shortness of breath or tiring before peers in sports), chest pain, heart problems, and body image difficulties. The last issue deserves some attention as children often are reluctant to discuss how the appearance of their chest affects their self-esteem globally. There is a bias even within the medical community to dismiss the appearance component of pectus excavatum as merely "cosmetic", but I view the surgery to fix this congenital defect as corrective and support the idea that the impact of its appearance should be considered. I have seen patients emotionally transformed in ways that they and their families never expected.

Thanks in great part to the pioneering work of Dr. Donald Nuss (a now retired pediatric surgeon in Virginia), we have a well-proven minimally invasive option to correct pectus excavatum: the Nuss bar procedure. This involves ...

What is the difference between a Cochlear Implant and a Bone Anchored Implant?

When someone with a hearing loss comes into our Center, we talk with them about many different technology options to help them reconnect to their world. Most people are familiar with hearing aids. However, many have questions about a Cochlear Implant or a Bone Anchored Implant, often called a Baha, and wonder if these implants would be an option for them.

A Bone Anchored Implant is appropriate for someone where traditional hearing aids are not efficient because of draining ears or chronic infections, blockage or damage in the outer or middle ear or loss of all hearing in one ear such as following an acoustic tumor removal. Candidates have either a conductive hearing loss or a single sided deafness. The bone anchored implant uses ....

Celebrate the 20th Annual World Breastfeeding Week at Swedish/Issaquah

World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration held around the world to generate public awareness and support for breastfeeding families. And, in honor of this special week, Swedish/Issaquah Pediatrics and OB are hosting a community celebration – and you’re invited.

Join us on Wednesday, Aug. 1 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for a fun-filled day of activities. Raising a healthy, happy baby is one of the most rewarding things you’ll do. And, it doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.

We’re bringing together an impressive group of individuals and vendors to provide you and your family with information about health and education services. Our event will also feature:

  • Door Prizes
  • Story Telling
  • Teddy Bear Clinic
  • Massages
  • The Leche Lounge
  • Live Music
  • Yoga
  • “Ask-the-Doc” Booth

Event Location:
Swedish/Issaquah
751 N.E. Blakely Drive
Issaquah, WA 98029
2nd Floor Conference Center

Getting a mammogram

Frequently women will ask me: Where should I get my mammograms? There are several things to think about.

First, you want to go to a Center that is accredited by the American College of Radiology. This means that they have high quality images and well-trained radiologists. It is preferable to have a digital mammogram but if that technology is not available, then film mammograms are better than not having one done. While it is not clear that digital mammograms improve survival, they do allow the radiologist to examine the images more clearly and to use computer assisted diagnostic tools.

The radiologists’ experience is also important. Dedicated breast centers usually have radiologists who are specialized in breast imaging. These sub-specialized radiologists are very experienced in using mammograms, ultrasound, and breast MRI to diagnose breast disorders and are less likely to miss abnormalities.

Convenience is also a consideration. You want to make it easy to get your mammograms. Some Breast Centers will have mobile mammography programs that will bring mammogram screening to your place of work, local community or senior center, or even your church or synagogue. If possible, it is a good idea to get your mammograms at the same Center or within the same hospital system every year. That way the radiologists have easy access to your prior studies and can compare them to the current ones.

Here are some other things to know about getting mammograms:

Radio-What? Radiosurgery is a treatment that sounds like surgery but isn’t.

If you have never heard the term radiosurgery, you are in good company. This sci-fi sounding word may conjure images from Star Trek but radiosurgery is anything but fiction.

Radiosurgery uses multiple beams of radiation from a variety of directions to destroy diseased or damaged tissue. Although the name sounds like a surgical procedure, this is a non-invasive way to treat many different conditions. The CyberKnife and Gamma Knife technologies are very precise and avoid injury to surrounding, normal tissue and the course of treatment lasts from a single session to less than 2 weeks...

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